After many legal challenges to President Trump's Muslim Ban signed on January 27, 2017, a revised Executive Order was signed on March 6th. This second travel ban has many similar restrictions as the first; however, some changes have been made as well.
Here is what you need to know about the new Muslim Ban:
1. Effective Date: The new travel ban Executive Order (EO)'s effective date will be as of 12:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 16th. The new EO will replace and revoke the previous travel ban EO signed on January 27, 2017.
2. Countries Designated: Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Unlike in the first EO, Iraq has not been designated; however, Iraqi foreign nationals are going to be subject to additional scrutiny at the border.
3. Who Will be Affected by the EO: People from the six designated countries who:
(a) are outside of United States on the new EO's effective date;
(b) did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017; and
(c) do not have a valid visa on the new EO's effective date.
4. Exceptions: There are a few exceptions. The EO does not apply to:
(a) any green card holders (Legal Permanent Residents);
(b) any foreign national admitted or paroled into the United States on or after the EO's effective date;
(c) any foreign national traveling with an immigration document (valid on the EO's effective date or after) that permits travel and entry into the United States (e.g., advance parole);
(d) any dual nationals who travel with a passport issued by a non-designated country;
(e) any foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa;
(f) any foreign national granted asylum;
(g) any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States;
(h) any individual granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
5. Possible Waivers Available: On a case-by-case basis, waivers may be granted. The EO outlines some reasons by which a person can apply for a waiver such as someone who was previously admitted for a continuous period to work or study. Another waiver reason is when a foreign national has significant business or professional obligations or has a close family member in the United States and the denial of entry would cause undue hardship. If the EO applies to you and you are seeking entry, please consult with an immigration attorney to explore waiver options.
6. Suspension of the Refugee Program: For all countries (not just the designated countries), the refugee program will be suspended for 120 days. Furthermore, the 2017 annual limit for refugee admissions will be reduced from 110,000 to 50,000. Unlike the first EO, there is no preference for religious-minority refugees from the designated countries.After the 120-day suspension, the refugee program will resume for all countries, except for ones officials determine should remain on the prohibited country list.
7. Visa Interview Waiver Program: The EO suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which in turn, will require all individuals to do in-person interviews for nonimmigrant visas. There a few limited exceptions for diplomats and those traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States government.
8. Lawsuits and Legal Actions Against the New EO: As seen with the first EO, many states, organizations, and individuals are filing lawsuits against the new EO. There are pending legal actions in Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. However, as of the writing of this article, no nationwide bar has been placed on the new EO; therefore, the EO will take effect as scheduled on March 16, 2017.
If you have questions regarding the new Executive Order and how it might affect you and your family members, please contact us at www.ImmigraTrust.com and please subscribe to our Facebook page for updates.
--Najmeh Mahmoudjafari, J.D.
Najmeh is the Founder and Lead Immigration Attorney at ImmigraTrust Law, an immigration law practice in Orange County, California, representing individual and corporate clients in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. Najmeh can be reached at Najmeh@ImmigraTrust.com.
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